Letcher Co. murder trial continues

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

A murder trial is underway in Letcher County for a man accused of killing his neighbor.

Samuel Todd Collier is facing murder charges after he allegedly shot his neighbor Mark Sturgill in October of 2010.

Wednesday was the second day of Samuel Collier's murder trial, or Todd as he was known to his friends.

Collier and Mark Sturgill lived close to each other, and they have always had problems especially with Sturgill's dog.

No one actually witnessed the incident, but Sturgill's wife Melissa says he was walking his dog the night that he was killed, and that it was not unusual for her husband to be armed.

"He never left the house unarmed, never. I was married to Mark for 20 years yesterday, and he never left the house unarmed," said Melissa Sturgill.

Another neighbor, Garry Haley, who also talked about problems he had with Sturgill's dog took the stand. He said Collier was like family to him and he came to his home that night right after the shooting.

"He came in, and he just sunk down in my kitchen floor, and he said '
I shot little Marky, I killed little Marky'," said Haley.

The prosecution played the 911 call to police in which Collier admits to shooting Sturgill.

The prosecution also played Collier's interview with police from the night of the murder.

Collier said Sturgill's dog nipped at his leg. As Collier shooed the dog away, he says Sturgill was trying to pull a gun on him. That's when Collier reacted.

"I shot twice sir. I freaked out, I dropped everything and ran back in the house," said Collier during the police interview from the night Sturgill was killed.

During cross examination, the defense was trying to prove that Collier was threatened by Sturgill.

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